Our Lady of Many Dreams

(old style)

We pray to God, and to God it seems 
  Our prayers go heavenward;
But She, our Lady of many Dreams, 
  Keepeth a secret guard,
And by virtue of every vow we vowed, 
  And by every oath we sware,
Is all our worship disallowed,
  And She taketh toll of the prayer.
God is above, but She below,
  Instant and very fair.

[We praye to God, and to God it seemes
  Our prayers goe up on hie.
But Shee—our Ladye of many dreames 
  Heareth them presently;
For eache of us guards her secretlie 
  And should never question where—
We would lie, till the stars dropt out of the skie 
  And the face of Heaven was bare—
God is above and shee below 
  Instante & very faire]

And the stroke of the sword is Hers by right, 
  And every stroke of the pen,
And the brain and the tongue and the muscles' might, 
  For She ruleth divers men;
And the brutal strength is consecrate 
  To Her service and Her will,
And the writer labours early and late, 
  And the felon doeth ill.
God is above, but She below,
  That we labour, or write, or kill.

[And hers is the hardest houre of strife 
  Either by Lande or Sea,
And hers the bitterest houre in life 
  And  hers,  our  miserie—
But hers is that houre after the fraye, 
  And hers the peace of the dawne
And hers the endinge of the daye,
  And for her is the Noone's heat borne
And for her do we take the ploughe or the pen,
  And for her is the armour worne]

In a secret shrine, far out of sight, 
  Seen by no other eyes,
Lieth our Lady day and night
  (Marvellous fair and wise);
For Her shrine is set in a heart's red throne 
  By our pulse's fall and rise,
And we pray to Her, and to Her is known 
  All good that in us lies.
God is above, but She below 
  Compelleth our destinies.

Whether our Lady be gently bred, 
  Or sprung of the city's sin;
Whether Her dress be silk or thread, 
  Or Her cheeks be full or thin;
Whether Her hair be black or gold, 
  Or brown, or blanched, or grey;
Whether our Lady be young or old, 
  Is only one that can say—
And he is both Priest and Worshipper 
  Whose eyes are turned on my lay!

[Stanzas two and four above  were 
not included in the published versions]

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